Niantic has confirmed the existence of Lucky Pokemon in Pokemon Go with the release of the patch notes for the latest version of the game.
Update: Niantic said that Lucky Pokemon are not currently available, but they will enable the feature after all users have updated the game.
Update (July 25): Lucky Pokemon are now in the game. The Silph Road has shared the first reports of Lucky Pokemon appearing to players.
Lucky Pokemon appear to be no different than other Pokemon except that they apparently use up less Stardust when being powered up.
According to the patch notes, Lucky Pokemon are obtained randomly via trading. If two Pokemon are traded, then there is a chance that both of those Pokemon will become Lucky Pokemon.
The chance for a Pokemon to become Lucky is unknown but we will update the article when we find out.
Update: According to a blog post by Niantic, the longer a Pokemon spends inside a player’s storage, the higher the chance of it becoming a Lucky Pokemon when it is traded. They haven’t confirmed whether or not being in storage causes a Pokemon to become a Lucky Pokemon.
One user, RangerInTraining, traded five Pokemon caught in July 2016 when the game first launched and all of them became Lucky.
According to the support website for Pokemon Go, Lucky Pokemon are “more likely to be strong opponents in battle.” Users on The Silph Road subreddit theorize that this means that Lucky Pokemon will have higher IVs and thus better stats than if they were normal. Niantic’s post on trading does show that traded Pokemon have a chance to have slightly lower CP when received by the other player, so maybe Lucky Pokemon won’t have their CP lowered. Of course it could also refer to Lucky Pokemon’s lower Stardust cost making it easier to raise their CP and thus making them better combatants.
Update (August 2, 2018): It turns out that Lucky Pokemon will be stronger than most other Pokemon. According to Pokemon Go Hub, Lucky Pokemon are guaranteed to have an IV value of 10 for HP, attack, and defense each (Pokemon can have a maximum IV value of 15 in each stat).
Update (September 5, 2018): Niantic announced that starting September 5, all Pokemon caught between July 2016 and August 2016 are guaranteed to become Lucky Pokemon when traded. This effect only works when you or your friend have received less than 10 Lucky Pokemon.
The developer also said that Lucky Pokemon “will be more powerful than ever before.” Pokemon Go Hub have received reports of the IV value of each stat for a Lucky Pokemon being raised from 10 to 12. Lucky Pokemon still require less Stardust to power up.
Lucky Pokemon also have a visual effect that makes them sparkle similar to Shiny Pokemon, according to the support page. The Pokedex also keeps track of how many Lucky Pokemon of a certain species you catch. Plus the background around a Pokemon in the Pokedex changes if you caught a Lucky version of that Pokemon, according to user kiwii11.
According to pogo.schos on Instagram, Shiny Pokemon can become Lucky Pokemon.
You cannot mass-transfer Lucky Pokemon, according to user Caoimhinmarsh.
It’s possible that you can only obtain 10 Lucky Pokemon a day. User cevoorn traded 18 Pokemon from 2016 and only 10 to 13 were lucky with the following five being normal.
Lucky Pokemon were first hinted at in a photo Niantic published on the official Pokemon Go Twitter account. If you look closely at the Chansey in the photo, you can see that it has “Lucky Pokemon” under its name.
According to Nick of the Trainer Tips YouTube channel, the photo indicates that Lucky Pokemon will require 50 percent less Stardust to power up.
The feature not only gives you another incentive for trading and makes grinding for Stardust a bit less of a chore, but it also references the core Pokemon games. In the games, Pokemon you receive from trades will gain EXP at a higher rate than Pokemon you catch on your own.
In addition to adding Lucky Pokemon, the update also gives players the ability to sort the Friends List and assign nicknames to Friends, adds Stardust to Gifts, grants XP to players for sending Gifts, lets players delete unsent Gifts, and adds various bug fixes and performance updates.